Roadshow Video Reviews
Hydrogen cars making more headway at the L.A. show.Hyundai beats others to the punch for scale fuel cell car production
Well, it looks like an ordinary Tucson but underneath the skin it's anything but Hyundai has apparently beaten all the bigger competitors for the fuel cell race in terms of reasonably large production of a fuel cell vehicle in the market. Now let's put a bunch of asterisks on this. They're gonna launch this thing in Southern California only, lease only, not a ton of availability even within that region. It's a lease-only as I mentioned at $3,000 down and 500 bucks a month which may not sound very interesting until you add in this detail. During that 3-year lease your hydrogen is free. It doesn't matter how much you drive or how much you use. It's a free car to drive as long as you're just paying for it itself. Okay. A quick refresher course on how hydrogen fuel cell cars work. They are electric cars. You've got an electric motor being driven but then you've got this whole apparatus right here which has to create the electricity out of compressed hydrogen. It's not like you just make a fuel cell. You've got to find a way to hold that high-pressure hydrogen and then have all these ancillary systems and this core fuel cell technology as your secret sauce. So this is quite a coup for Hyundai to get there apparently first in some volume production. Now over here at Honda they're pitching this as their pending fuel cell car. Yes, right. Not in this form but what's going on under the hood is interesting. The phase of the fuel cell now can live underneath the short aerodynamic hood in the engine bay. Typically fuel cells are kind of big and gotta be put somewhere else where they intrude on passenger and cargo room. So they're getting to the point where packaging is no longer a hassle with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This guy is said to have a 300-plus range on its smaller and also higher energy output fuel cell, and both Hyundai and Honda are aiming at the same thing to try and give you the electric car cleanness, the electric car umph from great torque and ideally low cost of ownership with the same short refueling of a gasoline car. These are among the two to watch in a race that's heating up very quickly.